So what I have been trying lately, is contacting directly clients that might be interested in placing an ad on my website, maybe we need some sort of a new social network for people to sell ad spots on their websites.
* It's time consuming for the seller and buyer.
* You need to give the buyer reliable statistics. Page-Views, Click-Trough rate, demographics and what not, before and after you sell the ad spot.
* You need to define the price, which is not that simple.
* You need to provide the technical means to manage and display the ads.
* You need to prevent abuse.
* You need a contract for each buyer.
* The buyer needs to trust you.
* You need to trust the buyer.
I think that ship has long sailed. It would be tremendously cool, if there was some kind of self-hostable ad software, which takes care of the technical details and would act as middle man, connecting buyers and sellers. Some kind of open marketplace based on open software. But I doubt, this will ever happen. Would be a cool thing to disrupt the current industry though.
This was win-win for all. I made tons of sales from there.
So my suggestion is to work not on website that is good for ads, but on website that is good to deliver information and answers on questions. Ads and referral sales will come after that.
To be honest, every non-media site I've seen Adsense ads on have been fairly low-quality aggregator blogs that cover a wide variety of unrelated topics, have no clear identity/differentiator and appear to exist solely to generate AdSense revenue. These are the types of site you come across once, and never go back to again.
I'm in the nonprofit space and have been thinking about building a site focused on fundraising strategy. Adsense is likely not the right match for this, but I'm curious to know how people have monetized it with single-subject websites.
Monthly visitors >50k, pageviews ~800k, average session time ~30min, bounce rate <20%.
No problems with payments from Google at all.
Fortunately the Android browser's adblocking is very good, and the ability to turn scripts off with a single toggle means I won't be switching anytime soon.
CodeFund is also open source and seems committed to desirable principles, like not doing any user tracking through cookies.
In a feedback survey, I said that I hope they can one day expand beyond programming websites and become a general alternative to AdSense.
This month (Oct 2019), we brought in approximately $75K in revenue. Of that, approximately $53k will be paid out to publishers next week.
If you follow our newsletter  you can see our MTD stats (including financials) each week.
Unlike the other ad platforms, our mission is to grow and sustain open source projects. We do this through ethical advertising (no cookies, tracking, collecting data, etc).
Disclaimer: I'm the founder of CodeFund
Big positives for me are:
- This also means you can customise how the ads are displayed so they don't look out of place or bloat your pages. I was surprised they let you do this. My contact there pretty much told me I can make them look however I want (e.g. size, colours, fonts).
I'm using Carbon Ads on this page for example (see just above the first subheading, make sure you have adblock disabled):
Now I use revenuehits.com
But you're 100% right, google is a dangerous predator monopoly.
The suggestions in this post are old but it gives a good intro on the subject.
But I don't have any experience with both of them.
Take a look at the list of providers on the google amp-ad tag..
I used it years ago and it worked okay. I don't know what it's like now.